Runny Nose - Rhinitis

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Runny Nose - Rhinitis
Runny Nose - Rhinitis

Video: Runny Nose - Rhinitis

Video: Runny Nose - Rhinitis
Video: Top Tips to Prevent Allergic Rhinitis | Dr. Vibhu Kawatra | 1mg 2023, March

Runny nose (rhinitis)

From a medical point of view, rhinitis is an inflammation of the so-called main nasal cavity. It is often better known under the name "runny nose". Rhinitis is often related to a cold or flu (virus-induced rhinitis). The cold is unpleasant, but often goes away on its own. Certain behavior is recommended - for example, drinking enough. Various other therapies can be used depending on the cause.


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  • Viral rhinitis - what is it?
  • Diagnosing viral rhinitis
  • Treatment of viral rhinitis
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Viral rhinitis - what is it?

Rhinitis is often related to a cold or flu (virus-related rhinitis, runny nose). Viral rhinitis is noticeable through:

  • Tickling in the nose / in the nasopharynx,
  • Sneezing, irritable cough,
  • swollen, inflamed nasal mucous membrane - difficult breathing through the nose,
  • runny nose (watery secretion from the nose, later slimy-purulent, and ultimately thick secretion and a feeling of dryness),
  • Impairment of smell and taste,
  • watery eyes.

The runny nose usually runs without a fever. However, it can sometimes occur - for example in children or during the course of the flu (influenza). In addition to viral rhinitis, bacterial infection can occur. The sinuses can also be affected (see Sinusitis).

Note In addition to viral rhinitis, various other forms occur, such as bacterial rhinitis or allergic rhinitis. Tropical diseases, environmental factors (indoor and outdoor pollutants) and much more can lead to symptoms. Recurrent bacterial rhinitis also occurs.

Diagnosing viral rhinitis

The doctor will get an idea of the symptoms. Reddened nose, inflamed and swollen nasal mucous membrane, serous or mucous-purulent discharge provide indications. He / she also takes an anamnesis in order to clarify or rule out any further reasons for the symptoms (e.g. allergic rhinitis).

Furthermore, an ENT examination (throat / throat, ears) and a physical examination (e.g. upper body, listening to the lungs) are carried out, as the rhinitis can be related to a cold or flu. Depending on the cause of the rhinitis, further examinations and referrals will be carried out (e.g. to specialists for ear, nose and throat medicine, allergy tests and laboratory tests for nasal secretions, etc.).

Treatment of viral rhinitis

The cold is unpleasant, but often goes away on its own. For example, drinking enough (water, tea) and physical rest are recommended.

Staying in dry and smoky rooms should be avoided. Many people inhale steam or use home remedies.

Decongestant nose drops or sprays (oral cold remedies) can be used against certain symptoms (blocked nose). These make breathing easier for a short time. However, they should only be used for a short period of time (maximum one week). With prolonged or chronic use, they can have the opposite effect and, as a so-called rebound effect, lead to swelling of the nasal mucous membranes. Long-term use of these agents leads to habituation (“addictive behavior”). Inquire with your doctor about decongestant preparations. He / she also provides information on the use of home remedies.

If the mucous membrane is dry, viscous nasal drops or saline or sea salt sprays can be used, but these have less of a decongestant effect.

Depending on the cause, various therapies are used (e.g. allergen avoidance in allergic rhinitis, possibly antibiotics after a smear in the case of bacterial infection).

Sports, saunas and a balanced diet can provide prophylactic support. Vaccinations against certain strains of influenza (flu) can be given. For more information, see Influenza: Risk Groups & Prevention and Influenza: FAQ.

Whom can I ask?

The contact persons are usually the family doctor. Depending on the cause and possible complications, doctors from various disciplines are involved.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs of a visit to a doctor for clarification as well as therapeutic measures are normally covered by the social security agencies.

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